tv CBS Evening News With Katie Couric CBS November 15, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
>> couric: tonight, airport security. is it getting too personal? the viral video that set off a national debate. >> if you touch my junk i'm going to have you arrested. >> couric: i'm katie couric. also tonight, the old and the new. freshmen members of the new congress find their way around while veterans of the old take up unfinished business. including the ethics trial of charles rangel on 13 counts of corruption. his request for a delay: denied. and the nation's highest military honor is about to be awarded to a modest hero. >> i don't think that i did anything that anyone else that i was with wouldn't have done. captioning sponsored by cbs
from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> couric: good evening, everyone. at dozens of airports across the country, travelers now have three choices at the security check point. they can undergo a full-body x-ray, a full-body patdown, or they can leave. a cbs news poll out tonight shows 81% support using full-body scanners. but ben tracy reports a home video that went viral has become the rallying cry for passengers who say the stepped-up security is getting just too personal. >> look straight ahead for seven seconds. >> reporter: the government calls this the next generation of travel security. but some think these new scanners that create full-body images of passengers are virtual strip searches. >> that makes me a little bit nervous. i'm not really in favor of that. >> i'm not going to do it at all. never. not once am i going to show them my naked body. >> reporter: over the weekend,
software engineer john tyner refused a full-body scan in san diego. his cell phone camera was rolling when he was informed he would be getting a full-body patdown instead. >> we're going to be doing a groin check, that means i'm going to place my hand on your inner thigh, slowly go up. 6rrrrr >> reporter: tyner ultimately refused and was not allowed to fly. there are new 385 full-body scanners at 68 airports nationwide. t.s.a. says 98% of passengers agree to use them. >> it is a little bit more intimate but i'd rather you be intimate and me get on the plane safely than not. >> reporter: if they opt out they get the patdown. new rules require t.s.a. agents to touch the breast and groin
areas. today in washington, the secretary of homeland security defended the process. >> we're not doing this just to do it. we're doing it because we need to keep powders and jells and liquids off of planes that are unauthorized. >> reporter: chemical explosives like those smuggled by umar farouk abdulmutallab in his underwear on a flight last christmas or the plastic explosives shipped on u.s. bound cargo planes last month. >> very concealable, moldable, designed in such a way that unless you have advanced imaging technology, you walk through a metal detector, this is not going to register. >> reporter: and the government says privacy concerns are overblown. the scanned images can not be stored, printed, or sent and faces are blurred. >> if someone's going to get turned on with this body, god bless them. >> reporter: but this is serious business. the t.s.a. is actually considering charges against a man in san diego because once you begin the security process in an airport, federal law requires you complete it. they do that because they don't want terrorists trying to test
the system and backing out at the last minute if they think they're going to get caught. katie? >> couric: ben tracy in los angeles tonight. ben, thank you. meanwhile, on capitol hill it was the first day of school for the freshmen class of 2010. they won't be sworn in until january, but the new members of the house and senate elected two weeks ago-- 90% of them republicans-- arrived today for orientation. congressional correspondent nancy corps sdes on the hill tonight. nancy, they were sent there by voters demanding change and it looks like there will be some. >> reporter: there will be, katie, because today senate minority leader mitch mcconnell in a major reversal embraced the ban on pork-barrel spending, or earmarking. that's a practice that many of these new house freshmen campaigned against. the largest class of house freshmen in more than 60 years descended upon washington determined to shake things up. they succeeded even quicker than they expected. >> what i've concluded is that on the issue of congressional earmarks, as the leader of my
part in the senate, i have to lead first by example. >> reporter: it shows there is strength in numbers. of those 93 newly elected house members, more than a third consider themselves part of the tea party, eager to push both parties to cut spending. >> we've got some big issues to work on here in washington, d.c. and the american people are facing it. >> reporter: today the freshmen took a crash course on how congress works. 34 of them have never held elective office before. seven of them are doctors. seven are farmers. 32 are business owners. >> i grow almonds and i have a plastics company. >> reporter: just nine of the 93 are democrats. >> we're calling ourselves the mighty nine. >> reporter: in the senate there will be 13 new remember members compared to just three new democrats. >> >> please raise your right hand. >> reporter: two of those democrats were sworn in today after winning special elections. >> i do. >> congratulations, senator. >> reporter: that means they'll be able to participate in the battle over the bush tax cuts
which are set to expire at the end of the year. democrats want to eliminate the cuts for americans making more than $250,000 a year while conservative republicans are urging their party not to compromise. >> this lame duck congress is limping back into washington, d.c. hungry for more spending, more taxes, more deficits, and more debt and we are here to say "no more lame ducks!" >> reporter: by the truth is that neither party wants to see all these tax cuts expire and so leaders are meeting behind closed doors. and one proposal that is gaining traction would be to allow these tax cuts to be extended temporarily for a couple of years until the economy improves. katie? >> couric: nancy cordes reporting from capitol hill tonight. nancy, thank you. now to the unfinished business of the 111th congress. members returned for a lame duck session today that included a corruption trial for one of
their own-- charles rangel. here's justice correspondent bob orr. >> reporter: on a day congress was looking towards a new start, the house ethics committee confronted an old problem. >> i truly believe that i'm not being treated fairly. >> reporter: long-time new york democrat charles rangel appeared before a jury of eight to answer charges he violated 13 ethics rules. rangel was alone, explaining after paying his previous lawyer $2 million he'd run out of money to fight the case. he pleaded for more time to set up a legal defense fund and hire a new lawyer. >> and my reputation-- 50 years of public service-- has to suffer because this committee has concluded that you must conclude this matter before this congress ends. >> reporter: but the panel denied the request. rangel walked out and the trial went on without him. rangel faces multiple ethics allegations: failing to report income, filing false disclosure
forms, improperly soliciting contributions. today's walkout was rangels second in a defense marked by defiance. >> i deserve and demand the right to be heard. >> reporter: in august, the 20-term harlem congressman roared on the house floor that his name should be cleared, arguing he'd made mistakes but had never broken the law. and he warned his colleagues he would not go quietly. >> don't leave me swinging in the wind, fire your best shot. >> reporter: now if rangel's jury finds him guilty on any charges it will be up to the ethics committee and the full house to pass any sanctions. we should note his constituents have delivered their own powerful verdict. just two weeks ago he was reelected to his 21 s term with 80% of the vote, katie. >> couric: what a dramatic day, bob. so what happens now? >> reporter: well, if he's found to have violated any rural, he will likely be rebuked by the house, a relatively mild penalty not a big deal. he's no longer a powerful committee chairman, he's beloved
at home. one thing's clear, he won't be expelled, katie. >> couric: bob orr. bob, thanks very much. in other news tonight, in a small town in ohio, hope is turning to desperation. a day after a kidnapped 13-year-old girl was found alive concern is growing because her mother, brother, and a family friend are still missing. national correspondent dean reynolds is in mount vernon with the latest on this mystery. >> reporter: even as the search preceded today with police in the air, on land, and in the water, law enforcement struck a somber tone. >> we have to be realistic that there's a possibility that these folks are dead. >> reporter: three of the four who vanished last wednesday-- tina herman, her 11-year-old son cody and family friend is stephanie sprang are still missing. police said they found an unusual amount of blood in their home. the fourth-- tina herman's 13-year-old daughter sarah maynard-- was rescued sunday after being bound and gagged for four days in the basement of the home of 30-year-old matthew
hoffman. authorities would not say whether she'd been assaulted but they did say she was unquestionably courageous. >> under the circumstances, a 13-year-old girl being held captive for four days by a total stranger, i would call her the epitome of bravery. >> reporter: hoffman, an ex-con who served eight years in jail for arson, has offered minimal cooperation since his arrest on kidnapping charges. his friends said he'd been depressed recently. his neighbors said he stood out for the wrong reasons. >> he is a weirdo. he was a weirdo. there's a hammock where he would sit and watch people. >> reporter: much of the search today centered on foundation park, a heavily wooded area surrounding ponds located a short walk from hoffman's home. steve thompson, stephanie sprang's father, was among volunteers. >> this is the point of interest right in here so let's do what we can and thank you guys b. careful yourselves, please.
>> reporter: police see no signs of accomplices and say there are no other persons of interest they want to talk to in this case beyond the man they already have in custody here at this jail behind me. katie? >> couric: dean reynolds in mount vernon, ohio. dean, thank you. still ahead here on the "cbs evening news," he charged into enemy fire to rescue fellow soldiers and he's about to receive the nation's highest military honor. and alaska senator lisa murkowski on the one that almost got away. ♪
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washington. >> nice art work! >> couric: this time she's making sure everyone knows how to spell her name. >> running in a write-in campaign against my party's wishes demonstrates that it's either political courage or just plain crazy. i am now conceding the race for the republican nomination. >> couric: beaten in the g.o.p. primary by tea party favorite and sarah palin endorsed joe miller, in some ways the loss was murkowski's gain, breathing new life into a candidate who assured alaskans that federal dollars would keep traveling north. >> i'm joe miller, the true conservative choice. >> couric: the republican establishment supported miller and now murkowski is trying to figure out where she fits in. do you feel a little like it's your first day of school and you don't know who your friends are going to be? >> maybe a little bit of that. who are my friends? who are my real friends? >> couric: part of a dying breed of moderate republicans, murkowski claims she's winning because she represents all alaskans.
>> i do not pass the purity test that the tea party has set out. it's just as simple as that. but i don't think most people in my state pass that. there's a lot of people in alaska that are pretty anti-government, but i think they would also agree that, well maybe the best thing is not that we shut government down. >> couric: and, she says, the message she's hearing loud and clear is compromise. >> i will tell you i am not one of those who wants obama to fail if he does well, that means the country's doing well. we don't time as a nation to spend all of what we do blocking. we have got to figure out how we get to a point where we can be sitting around the table and talking about these difficult problems and advancing some solutions. >> couric: is that you holding walter? >> that's me holding walter. >> couric: she's not shy when it comes out to speaking out about another alaskan out doors woman.
but minimize it is bad blood created when her father appointed her instead of sarah palin to serve out his term in the senate. what's up with your relationship with sarah palin? can you explain? >> i'm still her senator. i'm going to work hard to represent her, too. we don't really have much of a relationship. >> couric: you have said you would not support sarah palin for president because she is not worldly enough. >> i just do not think that she has those leadership qualities, that intellectual curiosity that allows for building good and great policies. she was my governor for two years and i don't think that she enjoyed governing. >> couric: no matter what palin does, murkowski says 2012 is still a long way off and she's certain of one name that won't be on the ballot. would you ever throw your hat in the ring? that would shake things up, wouldn't it? >> a national write-in cam pain?
wouldn't that be wild? no, we're not thinking about this at this point in time. i'm still counting votes in juneau. >> couric: and murkowski met today with republican leader mitch mcconnell to talk about her future. she believes compromise with the majority democrats is possible on energy policy. as ranking republican on the energy committee, she'll have a major role in trying to work out a deal. and for more of my interview with senator murkowski, you can go to cbsnews.com. sarah palin campaigned against murkowski or, as the former governor might say, she refudiated her. palin invented that word and today it became the new oxford american dictionary's word of the year. refudiate is a verb used loosely to mean reject. it's a combination of refute and repudiate. palin has defended her creation saying even shakespeare coined a word or two. and up next, all you need is love and an itunes account to own a piece of the beatles. for,
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>> couric: in thank high today, a towering inferno. flames and smoke poured from a 42 story apartment building. chinese media reported it all began when some building materials caught fire. in denver today, icy roads made driving treacherous, leading to a 34-car pileup. twisted wreckage was scattered across i 25. 12 people were hurt and in three
separate crashes but none of the injuries was serious. and a big announcement is coming tomorrow involving two apples-- the computer giant and the record label. the "wall street journal" reports itunes will finally carry the entire beatles catalog. the two sides have feuded on and off for years but that was yesterday. in the name of profit, they've decided to let it be. and coming up next, he calls himself a mediocre soldier. his country begs to differ. [ male announcer ] for frequent heartburn relief, nothing beats prevacid®24hr. just one pill helps keep you heartburn free for a full 24 hours. prevent the acid that causes frequent heartburn with prevacid®24hr, all day, all night. nothing works better.
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one of them ran into enemy fire to rescue his comrade soldiers. tomorrow, staff sergeant salvatore giunta will receive the military's highest award-- the medal of honor. he's not just brave, he's humble as chief foreign correspondent lara logan discovered when she interviewed giunta for "60 minutes." >> reporter: afghanistan's korengal valley became known to americans as the valley of death, a place that saw some of the toughest fighting of the afghan war. was there anywhere in the korengal value they you could have felt safe? >> maybe in your dreams. >> reporter: staff sergeant sal giunta and his fellow soldiers, it was hell on earth. but the worst night of all was october 26, 2007. >> everything all of a sudden happened. tracers, bullets, r.p.g.s, explosions, wings, syncs, snaps,
pops, cracks. >> reporter: about a dozen taliban fighters ambushed the americans as they were heading back to base, firing at them from two sides simultaneously. sergeant giunta's squad leader was among the first to be hit. >> i fell. that's when i got shot in the helmet. i remember thinking "did i just get shot in the helmet? did that just happen?" >> reporter: you had to get him out of that spop? >> i had to pull him back. before i know it, sdwraun is coming in the open and pulling me out of the open. >> reporter: while saving his squad leader, giunta was shot in his body armor. with no regard for his own life, he charged oneself again into the taliban guns to rescue another american soldier. sergeant joshua brennan had been gravely wounded and was being carried away by taliban fighters. >> one guy had his armed and one guy had his legs and they were dragging him and... >> reporter: did you see their faces? >> i saw their hats and their beards and they had... i saw
their guns. i saw their guns were slung on their backs because their hands were full. >> reporter: joshua brennan died later that night in surgery, but sal giunta's actions saved him there dying in enemy hands, defeated the enemy ambush and deprived the taliban of a significant propaganda victory. what kind of soldier are you? >> i'm average. i'm mediocre. >> reporter: you're immediate yolker? >> yes. this is only one moment. i mean, i don't think that i did anything that anyone else that i was with wouldn't have done. >> reporter: this is the single greatest honor that the military can bestow and it comes right from the president of the united states himself. that's pretty good for a mediocre soldier. >> think how good the great soldiers are. >> reporter: tomorrow at the white house, this mediocre soldier will take his place among the nation's greatest military heroes. lara logan, cbs news, new york. >> couric: and that is the "cbs evening news" for tonight.